Monday, November 3, 2008
SomaCow: The Group Review For Spinward Fringe Resurrection
The guys at SomaCow (Geoff, J and Ross), have been closely following the progress of my little science fiction series and providing honest, sometimes generous reviews. Well, I thought they were generous before but they've gone and one upped themselves.
It didn't seem to be enough to the SomaCow folks for Geoff to give the Spinward Fringe Resurrection novella a well spoken, generous review. They had to go back after J and Ross had read it so they could voice their opinions. I'm thankful and appreciate their insight and the time they give me on air. Their thoughts were useful and highlighted points of interest in the story, characters and universe the whole series is set in. [Listen to the episode containing this review here.]
While I'm here, talking about Resurrection again, I have to say that writing that book in particular was a great pleasure. As in any piece of fiction of worth I took risks with it, tried to tell a challenging story while showing them something they don't nessisarily expect. Whenever I take risks I need feedback. My first line of feedback is my editor and any proof readers I've chosen then the fans and reviewers come next. I don't go back and change a thing, no matter what a reviewer or fan has to say, but the comments and advice I recieve is considered for future work.
Taking a risk character and plot-wise happens at least once per book (more than once in the case of Triton), and that's often what makes or breaks the work. The advice from my Editor, proof readers, reviewers and readers often tells me whether or not the risks I'm taking with the story are worth while, interesting enough or cause enough change for the characters and story for the reader to renew their interest in what's going on. Advice gathered from my Editor, first Proofer, SomaCow and a couple of fans helped me put together Triton, and it also highlighted the risks that no one had seen me take, the real turning points in the novel that would most likely become focuses of attention. What those risks are, I can't say. Spoilers are strictly taboo.
Back to this second review, and my point. Hearing more from the guys on this book, in which I take huge risks with characters people became invested in over the course of the First Light Chronicles, only helps that much more. It also makes me all the more eager to hear their opinion on the Spinward Fringe Awakening novella and Spinward Fringe Triton novel. I treat my readers like they're intelligent lovers of action adventure, not like they need to be led by the hand to a predictable, comfortable ending that won't offend. I enjoy entertaining people in a memorable way, and the more feedback I get, the less I'll draw my plotlines from what I call the Vanilla Plotline Playbook. Let's face it, a novel or novella isn't worth the paper it's printed on or data storage medium it's occupying unless it can be considered art, and something isn't art unless it demands interest or evokes an emotional response. I accomplish that by challenging myself and taking risks with the story and characters.
I like going off the map, and SomaCow is located in a nice spot off to the side of the legend somewhere. Give them a listen this Saturday live by clicking on the UStream link to the right between 1pm and 4pm EST. You can also tune in during the week for hour long portions of the live show. It's worth mentioning that this show is intended for adults, sorry kids.
Thanks for the entertainment and the review guys, Saturday is SomaCow day.